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View Diary: Human Rights Advice from a Past President to a President-Elect (207 comments)

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  •  one of the more disturbing things (1+ / 0-)
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    about the torture our country engaged in is how personally sadistic so much of it was, and how there's no particular reason to believe that sort of torture even works.

    You can seriously screw somebody up, after awhile, simply by imprisoning them and turning the lights on and off irregularly, where as physical torture isn't really that reliable. Sometimes you get people who will never break, sometimes you get false confessions.

    But that's nowhere near as much fun for sadists as stuff like rape and pretending to drown people.

    I'm not advocating any sort of torture, but I think that since we've done this to people, it bears looking at that we don't even use particularly efficacious torture techniques. It looks to me like this is indulgence in sadism, pure and simple.

    (cite: "Rape of the Mind," by Joost Meerloo)

    "A society based on cash and self-interest is not a society at all, but a state of war." - William Morris

    by mieprowan on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 04:18:07 PM PST

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    •  I've always believed that it was done because (1+ / 0-)
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      it could be done.

      Remembering that Bush tortured animals when he was a kid, I think this was a result of his innate sadism.

      Do what you can with what you have where you are - Guild of Maintainers

      by bablhous on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 05:50:16 PM PST

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      •  no, actually (0+ / 0-)

        I never heard anything about Bush torturing animals when he was a kid, though such would surprise me not a whit.

        Agreed that they did it because they could, because of how morals work. Immoral people do evil because they can; immoral people refrain because they cannot help but refrain. I've found this concept helpful when people I care about talk to me about being royally screwed over by people they trust; i.e.; "Don't try to figure out why they did it, it's not about you, it's about their inherent moral weakness."

        One of the most interesting, if not the most interesting religious question, to me, is how some people get to be moral and some do not; not to mention all the grey area in between. It is not just a religious question, but if we are going to have religions, they ought to attend to this one first and foremost, methinks. Just telling people they should behave in a moral manner, over and over again, doesn't quite do it.

        "A society based on cash and self-interest is not a society at all, but a state of war." - William Morris

        by mieprowan on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 05:58:09 PM PST

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